The Real Problem With the Post’s Editorial Pages
Post op-ed writer Charles Lane
There’s a lot of talk about how the Post editorial board runs interference for school vouchers and the paper’s Kaplan operation, and how Fred Hiatt stacks the op-ed page with neocons and torture apologists. And most of that is true. But the real problem killing the Post’s opinion page is that they’re incredibly boring.
I’ve been reading the Post in print now for about a month. I’m a big fan of opinion writing, I read gobs of both liberal and conservative articles a day. The last time I subscribed to a newspaper—an undistinguished big city daily—I would read the opinion pages with breakfast and have more left over for lunch. But you do that with the Post, and you’re done before your cereal is.
With the exceptions of E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson (who have barely survived MSNBC’s blanding machine), there’s nothing good in the columns. Take a look at Thursday’s selection: Harold Meyerson writing on Americans Elect, David Ignatius on Iran, and George Will flopping around on Romney-Santorum. At least Charles Lane wasn’t in that edition—he seems to have broken into sister company Slate, stolen their contrarium sludge, and weaponized it.
Adding excerpts from the Post’s blogs haven’t helped either. The paper seems to select the most boring possible posts. Jennifer Rubin’s Romney mania is even more evident in print, while Greg Sargent’s just a snooze (Thursday’s: Let’s talk about tax plans!)
The letters are awful, too. You might not know this if you don’t read the paper in print, but the Post has been treating Virginia’s so-called Tebow bill, which would allow homeschooled kids to play on public school sports teams, like it requires some grand national debate. Every day there’s a new point to be made about what’s a simple issue, and the paper has run at least two columns opposing it and an editorial. On Thursday, the paper ran three letters on the bill.
Where are the firebrands? Fred Hiatt, get some real liberals and conservative nutters. I wouldn’t mind the baffling opinions in Post articles if there was a reason to read them.